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By Manuele Lang
VIENNA (Reuters) - Slalom world champion Marlies Schild, who tore knee ligaments six weeks ago, is back on skis and plans to make a late decision on whether to defend her crown at next month's Alpine ski world championships in Schladming.
"I made my first steps on snow in the last few days. The result is that the knee holds up well and I feel safe on it," Schild wrote on her Facebook profile on Thursday.
"As for skiing competitively, I'm still a little bit short of course. Can I be ready to compete? It'll be possible to indicate in the next two weeks, before the world championship slalom," she added.
The world championships open on Tuesday, with the women's slalom taking place on February 16.
Schild tore right knee ligaments in training for the Are World Cup slalom on December 20 and her chances of defending her world title looked slim but the Austrian Ski Team said her recovery had been much quicker than anticipated.
"Treatment took place in perfect conditions and the recovery is much faster than expected," doctor Gernot Sperner said in a team statement. "Still the knee cannot yet operate at maximum capacity. Another rehabilitation session will tell us when Marlies's knee can recover completely."
The team statement said a final decision would probably be made just before the slalom race.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)
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